When the announcement was made that the American audience was finally going to catch a glimpse of the British heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua the feeling among punters was that it was going to be a huge night of boxing action in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
However, fast forward a few months and the interest in the bout is smaller than it was first expected to be. This was due to Jarrel Miller’s failed drugs test in February which threw the event into chaos; but eventually, it was decided that the event would go ahead as planned with a new opponent: Andy Ruiz Jr.
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There was a sense of disappointment among boxing fans due to the fact that the top four heavyweights in the division have all been kept apart once again. Dillian Whyte was hoping to face Joshua but the two teams failed to reach terms. While Tyson Fury is instead scheduled to fight in the US later in the month and Deontay Wilder beat Dominic Breazeale with a brutal first-round knockout. Undoubtedly, nobody in the division brings the same interest as AJ.
The matchup at New York’s iconic arena broke the record for the most amount of pre-sale boxing ticket sales, and Joshua will want to put on a show in the States. His record of 22 wins; with 21 of them coming by way of knockout is a sure-fire way of seeing how this fight may play out. The only bout that he has fought in which went the distance was the unanimous points victory over Joseph Parker in Cardiff.
Andy Ruiz Jr is already the biggest winner of the bout and will make his Madison Square Garden debut after picking up the baton from Miller. But by no means is he just turning up in New York to take the money. Ruiz brings with him a marvellous professional record; having only lost once in his 33 bouts. However, that one loss will be a significant marker for punters.
The sole blotch on his record came in a majority decision defeat against Parker in New Zealand. Parker caused Joshua problems when he fought him, but against Ruiz he dominated. The fight could have been over within six rounds if he wanted it to be. The fact that the Mexican fighter has largely faced opponents that are unknown is another question mark.
The step-up in quality is unquestionable, and that could be the deciding factor. Joshua would have seen the Wilder fight a few weeks ago and will know that he will need to leave a lasting memory on the US audience.
It almost seems that Joshua is destined to win on his American debut, and the challenge of Ruiz isn’t as daunting as the dangers that Miller could have posed. The fact that Parker dominated his fight with Ruiz will give Joshua the confidence that he can end this fight as he pleases.
Like we mentioned, Wilder ended his fight inside the first round recently and that would be a marker that Joshua will be looking to better. The fight won’t last any longer than six rounds, and Joshua will win via knockout. BetXChange makes Joshua the heavy 0.02 favourite to win the bout, and it would be impossible to back against the Brit.